Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The U.S. Embassy Jakarta Information Resource Center (IRC) organized a conference here recently for 22 staff from 12 American Corners, to deepen their knowledge of U.S. life and institutions, provide insight into their Corners` outreach efforts, and discuss concerns and plans for future projects.

American Corners, along with Information Resource Centers, American Centers and Binational Centers, formed Public Diplomacy`s "American Spaces" front line of engagement with host country populations, the US embassy said in a press release here on Thursday.

Indonesian American Corners are located in Jakarta, Bandung, Semarang, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, Malang, Medan, and Makassar, with new corners opening soon in Pontianak and Jayapura. For about half the visiting Directors, this year`s event offered the first opportunity to network with their peers.

Participants received a thorough overview of how the Embassy Public Affairs office works through cultural programming and exchanges, social media, English language programs and educational advising to reach Indonesians of all ages, at every level of society.

On the second day, attendants were joined by 20 rectors and educators from Indonesian universities for a DVC with Dr. Joseph Janes, author and Chair of the Library program at the University of Washington`s Information School.

Dr. Janes gave an in-depth presentation on library education in the U.S. and inspired a lively Q & A session among Corner and university staff in the audience. Participants were also briefed on programs and procedures for Study in the U.S.

A particular highlight of the conference was the introduction of games in libraries and in the Corners, to engage library users and English learners, and to teach information literacy and critical thinking skills, as well as facts about U.S. life and culture.

The conference ended with a raucous spelling bee, in which participants spelled their way through 45 terms associated with the three branches of the U.S. government. The Indonesian spellers showed spunk and English expertise, and were likely inspired by having watched a clip of the U.S. National Spelling Bee, featured in the film, Akeelah and the Bee.
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Editor: Priyambodo RH
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